Saturday, 28 November 2009

My professional values...

The first thing I should note here is that this statement is almost certainly incomplete. Trying to complete an exhaustive list would be impractical, and I suspect that I will realise I have missed values as I read the comments of my course colleagues.

As an underpinning for my professional behaviour in general I would begin by echoing the core values of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) (of which I am a Member):
honesty, integrity, fairness, confidentiality, competence, objectivity, environmental sustainability and health, safety and risk.

These provide a firm foundation, but obviously don't offer any guidance on educational or educational technology aspects. For the technology-enhanced-learning aspects I would look to the values of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT):

  • Commitment to exploring and understanding the interplay between technology and learning
  • Commitment to keep up to date with new technologies
  • Empathy with and willingness to learn from colleagues from different backgrounds and specialisms
  • Commitment to communicate and disseminate effective practice.

However, these also do not give voice to the educational values which I hold. I feel that I have a commitment to learners, and to the support and development of learning opportunities in general. This includes respect for individual learners, to supporting and enhancing their learning by incorporating relevant research outcomes. I feel passionate about the transformative power of education (in all its guises), and committed to learning opportunities for all.

The Higher Education Academy values include a commitment to continuing professional development and evaluation of practice, which (while I do not share their higher education focus) I also support. Commitment to developing my competence and understanding of pedagogical issues, including methods of supporting and enhancing teaching and learning is one of my core professional values, and is my prime reason for undertaking the MA ODE.

One conflict that I note as I write this is between my current professional practice, and the professional values I hold personally. In particular, I work in an organisation where the majority of work is defence focused. I have begun a new role as an Instructional Designer, and this requires adherence to the military's preferred methods of training. While understanding, supporting and working for client needs is a feature of many professional codes, I am left with a tension because of my pedagogical views on the value of students becoming independent learners, or the development of metacognitive skills, for example. This tension is not specific to military training, but I suspect common in many fields where there is a requirement to train students in specified procedures, and a need for consistency of delivery. However, issues like this challenge my values of supporting the student as an individual and applying research-evidenced best practice to specific tasks.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Alice, I think your point about tensions is a very important one since we all have to have an eye on what you might call 'statutory values' (H&S etc) and we also mosltly have key institutional and government led objectives to meet - and then there are the reasons we actually cam into the world of education. Most of us probably could not have defined these personal core values at the start and I certainly fimd it difficult even now after (cough cough) years. I think perhaps it's about having a personal vision for education and it might be why some people 'go for' innovation and others do not?